Magnolia Supernova is a pop-funk band hailing from Dayton in Ohio. The four-piece is comprised of Zack Lemons (guitarist/vocalist), Sam Ruff (drummer/percussionist), Kainan Shaank (bassist) and Dave Watanabe (keyboardist). Despite only forming this year, the band has already released their first EP entitled Color of Time.
“Sexy Ways’ wastes no time introducing the listener to this exciting, unique band and taking great strides to demonstrate what they are all about. Jagged guitar chords and screeching, high-pitched lead guitar seamlessly work together to form a funkadelic wasteland. The punchy beat, fluctuating bass and hungry vocals give the impression that this is a band which does not mess around. And that is an accurate impression.
“Chitlinz” boasts the most vivacious, electrifying display of bass and electronica that my ears have ever experienced. The two elements blend into one chaotic, pleasurable mess of funk madness. Then, in an unexpected, but definitely not unwelcome way, the chaos takes a quiet backseat. Jazz and psychedelic tendencies show their face. Sweet, peaceful, clean electric guitar swoops and washes its way over my ears. A twinkling of piano notes flutter and dance to and fro, as a gentle and restrained drum beat sets the tone.
Psychedelia rules on “This Time Last Year.” Staggered and separated guitar chords, distorted and warbled out of shape, provide an explosive point of entry into this otherworldly love ballad. Infectious bass adds to the gentle, yet simultaneously powerful, explosive and passionate atmosphere. Lemons’ vocals truly add the perfect blend of tender emotion and a forceful, present sound to the mix, but it is the groan of an electric guitar solo at the close of the track which truly steals the show. This is a love story from outer space if ever there was one.
All in all, Magnolia Supernova has mastered the art of combining psychedelia and funk with real, human emotion. A feat often missed by many bands of similar genres. They play their instruments masterfully, create an infectious atmosphere, but still manage to perfectly convey the human element of the lyrics through the emotive, pop-esque vocals.
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